Dorothy E. Withrow collection of World War memorabilia
Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
The Withrow family from Philadelphia appears to have been an intensely patriotic family during both World War I and World War II.
During World War I, John A. Withrow (1882-1971) and his wife Edna M. supported the war financially through Liberty Loans, the Salvation Army Home Service Fund, and the War Chest. They also participated in fund raising for the American Red Cross. In addition to actively working for victory, the Withrows collected literature created during World War I; in particular propaganda material from Great Britain and the United States.
During World War II, John and Edna Withrow, along with their daughter Dorothy, participated in the homefront war effort. All three worked as air raid wardens in Philadelphia as part of the Philadelphia Council of Defense, as well as belonging to the United States Citizens' Defense Corps. In addition, they purchased war bonds, supported the British War Relief Society, and worked with the American Red Cross. Dorothy (1910-2000), a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, worked as a teacher in Philadelphia. In addition to the general propaganda, publications, and pamphlets her family collected, Dorothy collected some material regarding education in wartime.
The Dorothy E. Withrow collection of World War memorabilia documents the Withrow family's homefront activities during both World War I and World War II, as well as documenting the wars generally through propaganda, pamphlets, and publications. This collection, which dates from 1892 to 1951, consists of a very local view of World War I and World War II and also, a very global view, through national and international publications, many of which seem designed to sway the sentiments of Americans towards entering the wars.
The collection is arranged in three series, World War I, World War II, and Miscellaneous material. The first series, World War I, consists of American homefront activities, and publications from both Great Britain and the United States. The American homefront material largely documents John A. Withrow's financial support of World War I, through liberty loans, and other patriotic funds. In addition to fundraising records, awards and certificates, and other memorabilia of his and his wife Edna's activities, researchers will also find his draft registration card. The series also contains excellent contemporary publications about the war; indicating that the Withrows were aware of the long-lasting and extensive effect this war would have on their own futures as well as that of the nation and the world.
The World War II series again documents the homefront activities of the Withrow family, but in addition to John and Edna Withrow, this series includes the activities of their daughter, Dorothy E. Withrow who was a teacher in Philadelphia. The Withrows' material includes memorabilia and documentation of their service as air raid wardens in Philadelphia as part of the Philadelphia Council of Defense; of their financial backing of the war through war bonds; and of other active efforts to support the nation. There are artifacts from their homefront activities, including a compass, gas masks, a helmet, and a noisemaker. This series also includes propaganda, pamphlets, and publications created during the war by American, British, Indian, and German governments.
Finally, the Miscellaneous material series includes material that was not created during either of the World Wars; with the exception of one button which relates to the 79th Infantry Division, a division which served in both World War I and World War II. The rest of the buttons are unidentified.
This collection documents the World War experiences of non-combatants in Philadelphia, as well as how governments of the United States, Great Britain, and Germany used publications to influence their own citizens, as well of those of other nations.
- University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
- Finding Aid Author
- Annalise Berdini and Steven Duckworth
- Finding Aid Date
- The processing of this collection was made possible through generous funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, administered through the Council on Library and Information Resources' "Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives" Project.
- Use Restrictions
Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.